Touring the Chloé Archives at La Maison Chloé

Paris, Style

Touring the Chloé Archives at La Maison Chloé

A view of the archive with an ensemble by Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé Spring 1983

Situated on the top floor of the new Maison Chloé on Rue de La Baume is Chloé's working archive, which houses select pieces from the brand's 65 years. Overlooking the streets of Paris' 8th arrondissement, the space is serene - filled with light and air. It feels fluid and carefree, just like the brand.

In the archives with Catherine Cantaloupe, Mikhaela Aghion & Me

During Paris fashion week last week, I had the most remarkable opportunity to visit the archives with Mikhaela Aghion and Catherine Cantaloupe. Here we are above, all ready with our gloves on! It was such a pleasure to meet these two beautiful ladies who shared with us so much knowledge and passion for the brand. Mikhaela, happens to be the granddaughter of the founder Gaby Aghion, and she shared with us a few stories of her grandmother. Catherine has worked with Chloé some 16 plus years and prior to that, eight years with Karl Lagerfeld on his namesake brand. 

A view of the adjoining archives office
The earliest dresses from the 1950's and 1960's

In 1952, Gaby Aghion  founded Chloé and created the first luxury worldwide ready-to-wear brand.

"When I arrived in France from Alexandria in 1952, there was only couture or basic ready-to-wear. There was no luxury ready-to-wear; well made clothes, with quality fabrics and fine detailing did not exist. A lot of things did not exist in France. Everything was yet to be invented , and this thrilled me." - Gaby Aghion in her foreword for -Attitudes Chloé

Learn more about Chloé in the book -Attitudes Chloé 

The Chloé archive was established in 2011. The photo above shows how garments from the 1970's and 1980's were discovered in a warehouse simply packed on racks in a cardboard box! 

Painted dresses from the 1970s
Chloé Spring 2018, photo from Vogue.com

Chloé's Spring 2018 collection, under the helm of new creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi, draws inspiration from the brand's rich history. After seeing the runway collection the day before, it was incredible to see where some of the influences came from. Above you see hanging, hand-painted silks from when Karl Lagerfeld was designer. To the right is one of designer Ramsay-Levi's looks from Spring 2018 that features a painted silk pattern from an artist in India. Below, similar pleatings on the cream dress can be seen on the current runway in the gray shirt dress.

View the entire Spring 2018 Collection on vogue.com 
Chloé Spring 2018, photo from Vogue.com
The first few dresses on the left here were inspired by murals found in the prehistoric town in Santorini

"It was Karl Lagerfeld who had crystallized Chloé's identity. Evanescent, fleeting, fluid, light as air, his clothes were a medium for the freedoms and fantasies of a generation" - Sarah Mower, -Attitudes Chloé

Karl Lagerfeld was at Chloé for almost 20 years. Among those designers who followed included Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, and Clare Waight Keller. Kept in gray protective boxes in the archive are over 10,000 unpublished sketches. I couldn't be more excited for a chance to see some of these sketches.

Read more about Chloé in the book -Attitudes Chloé  
Sketch by Karl Lagerfeld
Hot air balloons!
The iconic Angkor dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chloé Spring/Summer 1983

Watch the above right iconic Angkor dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe Spring/Summer 1983 being worn on the runway here - Barneys The Window, "Celebrating 60 years of Chloé: The Karl Lagerfeld Era"

Catherine Cantaloupe & Diego De Souza, my host and Manager Extraordinaire of NYC's Soho Boutique
Me, so excited for the chance to look at original sketches by Karl Lagerfeld
Most recent collections
To view more pieces from the archive, check out The Archivist, Issue 3
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